Frosty Monday Morning Stalk

springbok787

Well-Known Member
I arrived at one of my permissions as usual about 10-15 mins before shooting light. Quick check of the wind and I geared up for a stalk on the roe, which for me includes a small roe sack rolled up and stuffed into the poacher pocket on my jacket. For fallow or bigger I don’t bother with this as I prefer to drag them out to the track. On this morning I was stalking across 3 joined farms totalling something like 500 acres in all.

Moving out on one of my many “routes” I start scanning fields with the thermal. I am lucky when the wind is from the SW (allot of the time in the UK) that the start point on this permission is a farm yard that is slightly raised and allows me to scan a couple of hundred acres without moving very much. This initial search didn’t yield much despite the nice clear frosty morning. So onwards I go carefully checking the usuals roe deer hangouts as I progress generally enjoying the nice frosty morning. Maybe it’s just me being complacent but on my permissions I tend to favour fields/locations where I have seen deer before. On this particular morning habit wasn’t making me do anything different, but I did scan everything quickly and I didn’t notice a blip in an unusual location. This gave me pause to investigate with the binos and as luck would have it a roe deer was visable at the base of an oak tree about 250 yards out. As I watched further 1 roe turned into 2 and then 3. For me 3 means almost 100% that one or more is a doe if not all 3 at this time of year. Location wise they were up against a hedge line in the same field as me south (good for the wind) of me by 250 yards. The field in question is a good 400 yards wide, but there is two small ponds surrounded by tress (maybe old WW2 bomb craters?) equally spaced along the centreline of the field. I therefore moved so that my approach across the field had these two clumps of trees/ponds between me and the deer. These I am going to call “islands” because that’s what they felt like to me. For the first part of my approach all was good as I was able to walk down the tractor tram lines, almost out to the first island of trees. But soon I had to move off the trams lines onto the field, which was frozen stubble. For me frozen stubble in wellies is like walking on broken glass or egg shells and silly noisy. Committed now though so with the aim of closing to within 150 yards unchanged I slowed right down to a ridiculous crawl and pressed on. Eventually I reached the second island and the deer had been very cooperative for a change and hardly moved. Inching around the second island to the side facing the deer I got the sticks setup and the rifle on the top ready to take a shot, but I continued forwards around the cover carrying the entire setup with me ready for a quick shot of required. Quick scan with the binos ranged the roe at 160 yards away. The aim had been to close to within 100 yards but the remaining distance was 160 yards of open frozen stubble that wasn’t going to be silent even if I crawled so it was going to be a shot from this location. After a few mins observation I picked out my chosen target and a potential second shot if circumstances allowed. Shot taken and the first toe dropped on the spot from a high neck shot. Quick reload and I was back on the rifle looking at the 2 remaining roe does and decided not to take a second shot as they were highly agitated and therefore moving around too much for a safe second shot on either. I therefore stepped out of cover slightly so they could see me (rifle still on the sticks) and they cleared off. Allot of people including myself normally would probably have taken the second shot and had a second deer. It was probably possibly and more importantly safe. All I can say is that at the time based on being the guy on the ground I decided it wasn’t the way forwards. In retrospect as well showing myself might also have been a bad idea/practice, but for me at the time it felt like the right thing to do. Anyway the deer had been shot within 50 yards of an old high seat so I dragged it over to this and did a quick suspenders gralloch from the ladder. Into the roe sack and I carried the deer out as far as the main farm track. Here I found a useful tree and suspended the deer for collection later. As I had a couple more hours left I stowed the sack and continued onto the 2nd farm. It wasn’t until the last set of fields on the 3rd farm that I found any more deer. Two roe does wandering about in the middle of the field grazing but on the skyline. I set the sticks up and got the rifle up partly to be ready and partly to rest my shoulder. The deer seemed very happy in their grazing and after a 30 min watch, their general progress was across the skyline towards the farm boundary so I enjoyed watching them disappear for another day. Quick walk back to where I had left the first deer and back into the sack it goes for the trip back to the truck. Back at the truck the jetboil goes on for a coffee and I tidy up the earlier quick gralloch as this one is going to the game dealer.


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springbok787

Well-Known Member
nice write up ,just wondered how some of us still shoot deer with out catching them out with thermal,ah yes now I remember its called stalking man against animal,no gadgets just experience and true sportsmanship!
Define gadget? A hunter from the early 20th century would call rifle scopes a gadget. A hunter from the early 19th century would call a rifle instead of a smooth bore a gadget. A hunter from 500 BC might look at shoes and a bow and arrow as being a gadget.

I look forwards to reading one of your write ups where you manage to chase the deer down on foot using a stick with just some flint on the end wearing no shoes and just a loin cloth. You might have some legal issues with the method of killing deer, but you will have my total respect for being the only man in the world who doesn’t use any gadgets to hunt.


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banus

Well-Known Member
good evening ,not a comment aimed at your stalking ,an observation as to how stalkers are using modern technology to reduce to act of stalking down to the act of killing,i have and always will believe in fair chase. my choice is not yours but each to their own. soon people will be able to watch an armed drone on their computer scan a field and shoot the deer so another machine can collect it and take it to the chill etc etc. as stated each to his/her own
 

SteveW

Active Member
Great write up thanks for sharing! Love the clear frosty mornings but terrible when stalking as you say.You may as well be walking along banging a drum!
 
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Craigsaun

Well-Known Member
Don't we all just love stalking on a frosty morning with our (gadgets) . Good right up ,Monday was a cracker
 

foxdropper

Well-Known Member
Real men use bows thats true but sod it ,life’s too short ,get them shot and in the chiller so you can brag about it .
Most who moan about thermals are just too tight to buy them or wouldn’t know how to use one ,therefore it’s an unnecessary gadget lol.
 

75

Well-Known Member
Thermal is a tool just like anything else. Helpful and effective. You don’t have to shoot all you see!!!!
Nor can you shoot everything you see. A thermal doesn’t magic you into your deer without the need to stalk. It’s a spotting tool not a teleportation device!
 

Uncle f

Well-Known Member
So you point is? Your still having to stalk!!!! So the skill is still there and being used be it using binos or thermal or both as I and many others use
 

75

Well-Known Member
So you point is? Your still having to stalk!!!! So the skill is still there and being used be it using binos or thermal or both as I and many others use
I was in violent agreement with your post and supporting your point ;)
 

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